Exelica spreadsheet reporting

What is Spreadsheet Reporting?

Spreadsheet reporting works within business intelligence software to retrieve enterprise data and direct it into informative reports. Most systems will include output functions, a processing engine and a report design component. The advantage of spreadsheet reporting is that it provides the option to distribute reports in active MS Excel files. It is the close compatibility with MS Excel that differentiates spreadsheet reporting from page layout reporting.

Spreadsheet reporting is an excellent tool for business users in finance, sales, operations and other departments that use spreadsheets. Compatibility with MS Excel is important to business users who want to do more with standard report data than just view it in a PDF or Web page.

Exelica Spreadsheet Reporting

Exelica is a complete spreadsheet reporting solution that empowers Java applications to output MS Excel compatible reports. Exelica should not be confused with common plug-ins and VBA-based macros. Exelica is 100% Java, and it includes sophisticated features such as user-friendly report design wizards.

Programmers can apply their MS Excel skills to Exelica when they design fully functional, perfectly formatted spreadsheets reports. While our reporting system is thoroughly compatible with MS Excel, it is not reliant on it. Exelica can also output PDF reports and other spreadsheet reports without the presence of MS Excel.

What is Page Layout Reporting?
Companies such as Cognos, Business Objects, and Oracle include page layout reporting tools in their most popular BI products. Page layout reports are output in file types such as PDF, HTML, RTF as well as 'export to MS Excel'.

Export to MS Excel is poorly designed function of page layout reporting solutions. Their reports are created with a different formatting logic than spreadsheets use. As a result, they lack the right information to export a perfectly laid-out, fully functioning spreadsheet report.
Spreadsheet report design environment:

Spreadsheet report design environment
Page layout report design environment:

Page layout report design environment
Data is placed in cells. Formulas consider the relative position of cells. Inserting/merging/deleting rows and columns affects spreadsheet function and poses a challenge to any reports designed outside the spreadsheet environment. Spreadsheet reports are designed to uphold spreadsheet integrity so all numeric values remain active and formulas continue to calculate properly.
Data is placed in fields. The field locations are noted by XY coordinates. Fields can be positioned anywhere within the bounds of a page. Reports can be converted to a spreadsheet by exporting to MS Excel but this design environment lacks vital information for laying out a spreadsheet model. Cell padding (extra rows and columns) is used in the conversion process to recreate the report layout. In addition, numeric values are converted into text. The report will look good but the functionality is sacrificed.
Exelica Spreadsheet Reporting Benefits
Enables User Productivity

Business users can quickly interact with Exelica report data because there is no reformatting required to open a live MS Excel version. Users can change data sets, modify formulas, open new charts and graphs, conduct 'what if analysis', goal-seeking, and use all the other spreadsheet functions that make people more effective at work.

Empowers the Report Design Process

Exelica's report design wizard guides IT through the task of creating well formatted reports. Functioning like a modeling tool, the report designer enables the programmer to layout sharp reports with the flexibility to accommodate data entries that can not be known ahead of time. In addition, end users can prototype reports they need using MS Excel which makes it very easy for IT to reproduce.

Links Java Applications to MS Excel

Now you can get Excel compatible reports with active formulas from your Java applications. Java applications have poor integration with MS Excel, which limits their appeal to business users. This can be overcome with significant programming effort. Alternatively, Exelica can be adopted to save a client hundreds of man-hours of custom Java development and straight integration to MS Excel.
"But we already have reporting tools"

Vendors want to be selected as the BI reporting and analysis standard. Simply put, the vendor that offers the most comprehensive BI reporting and analysis solution is in a better position of being selected as the reporting standard. To that extent, there has been a significant amount of activity by the vendors during the past year to deliver a broader BI reporting and analysis platform.
Forrester Reports - Grading BI Reporting and Analysis Solutions, Keith Gile